Former Sen. Monserrate Charged with Fraud

Former State Sen. Hiram Monserrate is facing federal charges that he funded his 2006 campaign with money that was supposed to go to a charity.

The indictment was unsealed Tuesday and charges Monserrate with mail fraud and conspiracy. It alleges that Monserrate improperly used about $100,000 of public money to register voters, obtain signatures for petitions and perform other campaign tasks.

The Queens Democrat was expelled by the state Senate after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend by dragging her through his apartment lobby. He was sentenced to three years of probation. 

Monserrate pleaded not guilty at an arraignment on Tuesday.

Monserrate sued to get his seat back but lost, and then tried running for his seat in a special election in March and lost again. In September, he ran an unsuccessful campaign to become the Democratic nominee for the Assembly seat in Jackson Heights.